Since then, the entire month of December has been dedicated to bringing attention to the AIDS pandemic across the globe. Many governments across the world now observe both the day and the month to increase education about controlling and preventing the disease. Several global health organizations join in, and the Catholic Pope issues an address each year on December 1 to raise awareness.
AIDS is caused by the spread of the HIV infection. The toll AIDS has taken on the world is staggering. The disease has killed over 40 million people since the HIV virus was discovered in the 1980s, and nearly 40 million people worldwide are living with HIV today. It is an understatement to say that HIV is one of the most important global health issues in our modern times.
Cutting edge anti-retrovirus treatments have helped to get the disease under control. These drugs have drastically decreased the death rate from HIV/AIDS. In 2005, the death rate from AIDS was 2 million. However, last year in 2016, the death rate was only 1 million. Although these great pharmaceutical strides have reduced the death toll by half, there is much more work that needs to be done.
While you’re bustling about this holiday season, pause for a moment to reflect upon December as AIDS Awareness Month.